Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Figure 1
About the Database:
Student Research Center (SRC) is database teens can use to look for a variety of information based on specific topics. When users look at the main interface (Figure 1.), they have a variety search options they can use. SRC also allows users to search for articles based on publication date, reading level, and only ask for "full-text" articles. Another great function is the inclusion of articles based on their format: newspaper, magazines, encyclopedia articles, etc. Another great option that can assist teens is the "Search by Topic" function that let users start off broad or get an idea of what they are looking for.

Figure 2
Once users have entered their search terms, they will see a list of results (Figure 2) that can be limited to format (magazines, newspapers, books, etc.). Users can also sort thought results by relevance and date of publication.

Critical Evaluation:
This database is a great asset for public libraries simply because it provides information on subjects the library may not have or titles are checked out. After using this resource, it has a the variety of search options that are useful. When conducting a search on "William Shakespeare" and "the Middle East," it was interesting to see the difference between the searches. For example, the search on Shakespeare returned fewer resources than the Middle East, but the interface did not supply the left-hand tool bar that contain subject and publication trees. I am not sure why the results interfaces are not consistent, but this was one detail I did notice. When searching for information on the Middle East, hundreds and thousands of articles were retrieved, which was amazing. SRC contains a lot of information for teens that will help them find the items they need, but actually teach them how to search by providing them with plenty of search fields and options.

Information about the Database Company:
EBSCO is one of the leading companies to provide institutions with electronic services ranging from reference, online searching, online journals, research databases, and much more. According to EBSCO: "EBSCO has served the library industry for more than 60 years. By placing customers at the core of our business, we have tapped their ingenuity to assist us in developing the high quality products and services for which EBSCO is known" (para.1). According to EBSCO, the reason why the made SRC was to create "a search interface designed specifically for secondary school students, according to their needs and search abilities. The Student Research Center provides students in secondary schools with the most appropriate research tools for easily obtaining the information that they seek from their EBSCO databases" (para. 1). The goal behind this database is to teach teens how to look for information using professional resources designed like SRC, which they will encounter in college. Moreover, they can take what they learn to more informal resources such as search engines. 


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Databases Similar to Student Research Center:
  • Gale Cengage Learning's InfoTrac

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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